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Another frosty day: death toll reaches 68

New Delhi: It was another frosty day in North India on Saturday which continued to battle bitter cold waves with the chill claiming six more lives in UP, taking the toll to 68 this season in the state.

While three persons died in UP`s Shahjahanpur district, two deaths were reported from Bareilly and one from Basti.

Sultanpur at 1.4 degree Celsius was the coldest in the state. Lucknow recorded a minimum of 3.8 deg C, while it was 4.1 deg C in Varanasi.

A thick layer of fog engulfed the national capital even as the low temperature coupled with icy winds continued unabated leaving Delhiites shivering and disrupting flight operations.

Dense fog hit flight operations at IGI airport as schedule of over 40 domestic and international flights were affected, causing inconvenience to the air travellers.

Domestic flights which were scheduled to operate in the morning were delayed by up to four hours due to inclement weather.

The dense fog also disrupted road and rail services.

However, children have been spared the cold with the Delhi government extending the holidays in city schools till January 13 from January 10.

The city recorded a low of 4.3 deg C.

Piercing cold waves swept Punjab, Haryana and Chandigarh with fog in the region throwing normal life out of gear.

Freezing cold gripped Narnaul in Haryana, which at 1.5 deg C was the coldest place in the two states.

Icy cold winds swept Hisar, which recorded a low of 2.4 deg C, while Bhiwani recorded 4.2 deg C.

Ambala registered 4.5 deg C, while Gurgaon braved the chill at 6.5 deg C.

The minimum temperature at Chandigarh, which had a hazy sky, settled at 6.4 deg C.

In Punjab, Ludhiana and Patiala recorded low of 4.2 deg C and 3 deg C respectively, while it was minimum 4.4 deg C in Amritsar.

Thick fog in the region affected vehicular movement and delayed many trains.

The intense cold wave gripping Kashmir Valley subsided to some extent, however, there was no respite from chill in Ladakh where the mercury dropped by a couple of degrees with Leh recording the lowest of -13.6 deg C.

The mercury slipped by 0.4 deg C in Kargil to settle at -10.4 deg C.

Srinagar witnessed an increase of nearly two degrees compared to Friday with the minimum temperature settling at -0.4 deg C.

Gulmarg skiing resort at a low of -6 deg C was the coldest in the Valley.

Mercury jumped by at least 3.2 deg C in Pahalgam resort which recorded -1.8 deg C. Kokernag in Anantnag district recorded -2.7 deg C, an increase of 2.2 degrees.

The skyline across Kashmir was covered by dense clouds, raising the prospects of a fresh snowfall in the Valley.

Chill continued in Rajasthan as cold waves swept the state with mercury in Bikaner dipping below freezing point and recording the lowest temperature at -2 deg C.

The tourist town of Mount Abu recorded -1 deg C, while Pilani recorded a low of 0.4 deg C.

Elsewhere, Jaisalmer recorded a minimum of 1.2 deg C, Dholpur (1.8), Churu (2.5) and Sriganganagar 3.7 deg C.

Severe cold continued in Himachal Pradesh with moderate snowfall in the higher reaches of Kinnaur, Pangi, Lahaul and Spiti and strong velocity icy winds lashing higher hills.

The sky remained overcast throughout the day.

Solan was the coldest in the lower hills with a minimum temperature of -1.0 deg C. The state capital Shimla reeled under 3.1 deg C.

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